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Acrylic microspheres as drug-delivery systems: synthesis through in situ microemulsion photoinduced polymerization and characterization


Correspondence to: Marta Giamberini, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament de Enginyeria Química, Av. Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain. E-mail:


Acrylic microspheres bearing a dense shell were successfully prepared by an in situ microemulsion photoinduced polymerization. Experiments following a fractional factorial design were performed for assessing the effect of the main reaction parameters (surfactant concentration in the aqueous phase, stirring rate, organic to water volume ratio, irradiation time) on the morphology of the microspheres and on their encapsulation yield. Environmental scanning electron microscopy and porosity measurements were carried out. Finally, the drug-delivery features of the obtained products were investigated, evaluating the release of vanillin, chosen as a reference compound. The diffusion coefficients were found to be almost unvaried despite the increase in BET area. Such products show promising potentialities for home and personal care applications. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry